A Tribute to Moreen Carey
ASF Board member and volunteer ski instructor
By Cherisse Young, Director of Development
This past Saturday the Adaptive Sports Foundation lost our dear Moreen Carey, an original ASF volunteer ski instructor, board member, and one of our truest champions.
Moreen was there at the founding of the ASF (then the Ski Windham Adaptive Program) in 1983, and was very much a part of the ASF story which she helped write over her 37 years of service to this organization and our community. Moreen was one of the original 20 volunteer ski instructors that showed up one day at the beginner slope at Ski Windham to meet Gwen Allard to teach a group of adults from the local ARC. It is hard to imagine that on that day 37 years ago, Moreen Carey would embark on a journey with the ASF that would allow her to impact so many people in an amazing way. Moreen’s accomplishments with the ASF were numerous, impactful, and will live on for many years. Like snow, there isn’t a part of the organization that Moreen’s efforts didn’t cover.
In the early days, Moreen quickly recognized that the program needed funding to survive. So, in typical Moreen fashion, she didn’t talk about what needed to be done, she just did it. After joining forces with her twin sister Cathleen, and good friend Inger, also volunteer ski instructors, the ASF’s first fundraiser was born, the Annual Dinner Dance. For more than 33 years, Moreen worked tirelessly to secure auction items, recruit volunteers for the event, and encourage anyone she met to attend, donate an item, or volunteer. She never relented in her dedication to the event making it the best it could be. This fundraiser continues today as the Winter Gala and Auction and has raised over $2 million dollars through 33 years for the ASF.
As a volunteer ski instructor, Moreen took her responsibilities very seriously. Moreen was one of the first of the volunteers to get certified by the Professional Ski Instructors in the early 1990’s as an adaptive ski instructor, a “newly” created certification by PSIA. She maintained her PSIA membership for over 25 years. Moreen never missed her annual training sessions and was always looking to improve her teaching and skiing skills.
As a founding Board member, Moreen served on the ASF Board of Trustees for more than 30 years. She was instrumental in numerous fundraising efforts in addition to the Dinner Dance including but definitely not limited to the Paul R Carey Ski A Thon which continues to this day and the $1.2 million grant from New York State which completed the capital campaign for the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center. Moreen also was a one-woman volunteer and student recruiting force. Her reach was far and can be traced through a whole host of contacts with ASF including our volunteers and students. Between, siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews, friends, children of friends, and just random people she would meet, more than 100 ASF volunteers and students can trace their initial ASF contact to Moreen. She always knew the birthdays, anniversaries, special days of our students, volunteers, and staff, and never missed one of them. So many of the ASF community have been recipients of one of Moreen’s handwritten cards.
Moreen was all about inclusion long before society was accepting. She helped shape the ASF’s mission of inclusion through her actions, ensuring our students, families and volunteers felt comfortable and valued. Known as Moreen to some, Mrs. Carey to others, and MoMo to many, Moreen didn’t need to verbally repeat our mission because if you knew her, you knew of our mission of inclusion and empowerment by just being in her presence. Moreen’s kindness covered the ASF for 37 years. Her legacy will continue to live on in all those she touched. If Moreen’s kindness was snow, we would have a powder day every day for hundreds of years.
To honor Moreen’s life of service to others and the ASF, the family has requested donations to be made to the ASF in her memory.